Bayanihan Dance Company

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The Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company is a group of Filipino dancers and musicians conceived in the ancient spirit of bayanihan, a Filipino word which refers to a spirit of communal unity or effort to achieve a particular objective.

The Bayanihan company earned the Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding via folk dance as well as an official recognition from the government as the National Folk Dance Company of the Philippines via Republic Act No. 8626 passed by Congress. The company was also bestowed the Diwa ng Lahi Award, the highest honor given by the City of Manila for outstanding achievement in culture and the arts.


The Bayanihan Dance Company was founded by Hon. Helena Z. Benitez, former Chairperson of Philippine Women's University. The troupe remained committed to preserving the cultural heritage of their homeland. They participated in programs at the university under the direction of Francisca Reyes Aquino, folk dance pioneer. In 1957, the University of the Philippines organized the Filipiniana Folk Music and Dance Committee, which later evolved into the Bayanihan Folk Art Association. The Bayanihan Dance Troupe developed as an outgrowth of this organization.

On May 27, 1958, the Bayanihan Dance Troupe performed at the Universal Exposition in Brussels. They were adjudged among the top from the thirteen dance companies that performed. The following year, they performed on Broadway for three weeks and toured eight major U.S. cities. Since then, the company has mounted fourteen major world tours and more than 100 short tours.


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